Well, today was a great success. I managed to run my first 1/2 marathon and ran quite well considering the 30+ mph winds and the nasty humidity.
Race day started pretty early...I woke up about 4:30 a.m. and went through my morning routine. Breakfast of champions as always. English muffin, peanut butter, and a banana. Mmmmm.
Then it was off to the race. I was a little lost at first. Everyone seemed to be there with someone and I was just running by myself so I just took the only free spot I could find among the 8 to 9 minute mile pace group. It amazed me how many people they had stuffed into that starting chute. I was glad I did some stretching before getting in line, because I had zero room. I bumped into Katie and she joined me for the start. It was nice to have someone to chat with leading up to the big start. She and I were both on the same page once the gun went off. Headphones in and get to business. My only complaint about the start, freaking OU marching band. Really? Who wants to hear Boomer Sooner at 6:30 in the morning? I sure the hell don't.
The race was pretty frustrating the first few miles because it was more people dodging than running. I never understand why slow people feel the need to line up in the front. They have those handy-dandy pacers to line up around so you can run with people your own speed. After effectively dodging 100s of people, we finally made the turn towards the capitol building and things started to open up a bit. It was a nice run up Lincoln because the wind was at our back and the streets were wider. I didn't feel like I was going to trip on someone. I was drenched by mile 2 thanks to the humidity, but lord knows I didn't smell as bad as some of those people. I honestly think half of the older guys don't wear deoderant. Ha, hopefully I won't get that way.
About mile 4, I felt my hip start bothering me. It was a concern, because I stopped training this week because I was in so much pain after running. I honestly thought at one point that I was going to have to stop. I don't know what I did to it, but I know I will have to figure it out before I start training for the full. I couldn't put any weight on my right leg when making turns so I had to make sure to position myself better going into turns. After a mile of pain, I finally found my groove again and started picking up the pace through Crown Heights. I got a few good laughs through these neighborhoods because people were out having drinks and offering shots to the runners. Plus, with all the big houses, the wind was a non-factor. I also found a few running mates at this point. Well, more like targets than mates. I wanted to always keep them in site and I knew I was doing well.
All was going well, definitely hitting my groove when we turned south on Classen. You could almost see the life come of out some people. The wind literally almost knocked you down when you turned the corner onto Classen. I tried to save some energy early in the race because I knew that stretch was going to be brutal. I actually made up some pretty decent ground on this stretch and passed quite a few people. I felt good going into the turn on 18th and that's when I saw Allison. It was so great to see a familiar face for the first time all race. It made me smile and gave me a little extra boost.
After that point, I really started trying to pick it up to full speed. I knew I only had a couple of miles left and I so wanted to get close to my goal. By this time I knew that 1:45 was out of the question, but I knew I could still finish well under 2 hours and that was a lot better than my original goal when I started training. My Nike+ was lying to me all race and telling me that I was running a lot faster than I was so that was a bit discouraging. Actually, right after I saw Allison, my iPod started messing up because it had gotten so sweaty, not to mention that you could have gotten a pound of salt off my body. I don't think they were meant to function wet and salty. I can report that it is working fine now so let's keep our fingers crossed that it continues to do so.
On the homestretch I really picked it up. I would be really interested to see how my last 2 miles were pace-wise. I think I probably ran 2 of my strongest miles at the finish. The turn on to Broadway was about as daunting as Classen, but at that point you only have about 1/2 mile left so it's easy money. I felt great finishing when I did and I was ecstatic after the race. I wish I would have had someone there to celebrate with me, but I did run into some familiar faces in the cool down area.
After the race, I noticed I had some very tender feet so pulled off the socks to some lovely surprises. I had a couple of huge blood blisters underneath my toenails and not really sure how my toenail was still attached. Needless to say they are a bit tender and I need to get some bigger running shoes for next go-round. Oh well, the pain is worth the pleasure I felt after it was over.
Here are my results:
Chip time : 1 hour 51 minutes and 47 seconds
Overall : 408 out of 5773
Gender : 308 out of 2188
Division (M25-29) : 46 out of 334
I had set a goal for myself to place in the top 10% overall so I reached my goal. All in all, a great first 1/2 marathon!
Next up : 05/09 Clean Air Challenge 5K
1st marathon : Dallas White Rock Marathon, Dec 13th 2009